Sierra Writers

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Want to Hear Your Work Read Aloud? Join Us for November’s Open Read!


 Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 pm


Sierra Writers will host an Open Read on Wednesday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room, 980 Helling Way, Nevada City.

All are welcome to submit works anonymously to be read aloud by members of Sierra Writers and critiqued by the assembled group. Submissions of fiction (including poetry) or nonfiction should be made with no name and contain no more than 750 words (two-three pages). Print on one side of the paper and double-space in readable font and type face (such as Times Roman, 12 pt.).

Attendees will provide considerate, brief, and tactful feedback, and the author must be present at the reading. Join us for this constructive and engaging process. More information about Sierra Writers and the Open Read is available at or by calling 205-5068. This reading is free to the public.



Louis B. Jones


Louis B. Jones

 November 13 Sierra Writers Meeting

6:30 – 8:00 PM

LouisBOn Wednesday, November 13 from 6:30-8:00 PM, Sierra Writers monthly meeting, which is open to the public at no charge, will feature author, Louis B. Jones. Jones is the author of four novels – Ordinary Money (Viking 1990, Penguin 1991), Particles and Luck (Pantheon 1993, Vintage 1994), California’s Over (Pantheon 1997, Vintage 1998, named as New York Times Notable Books of their respective years, and most recently, Radiance, (Counterpoint 2011). During the meeting, Jones will read an essay about being unpublished and hold a short disquisition on the art of dialogue.

A resident of Nevada City, Jones has served as visiting writer at a number of colleges around the country, and he is Co-Director for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers’ Fiction Program. He is an NEA fellow and a fellow of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. He has written screenplays – originals and adaptations of his own work – for studios and for independents. For a while, he was a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review.


FINAL DAYS – Write Now for 2013 Young Writers’ Contest

Write Now for 2013 Young Writers’ Contest

For the past twelve years, Sierra Writers has encouraged young writers in our community by giving them an opportunity to enter the Young Writers’ Contest and earn one of the three highly-coveted Lee Roddy Awards. Roddy, is the author of more than 50 novels written for children and young adults, and is a local writer and former Sierra Writers president. The award honors Roddy’s contribution, inspires teens in our community to write short stories, and provides them with an opportunity to win a cash prize for their efforts.

1st Prize: $300

2nd Prize: $200

3rd Prize: $100

with possible Honorable Mentions of $50 each

The 13th annual Young Writers’ Contest is open to teens (ages 14-19) who either reside in or attend a school in Nevada County. Only one story per entrant, and not longer than 2,000 words. Submission must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2013. Complete contest details and the contest entry form are available at

Students’ winning manuscripts will be honored in a variety of ways: awards will be presented at a special ceremony in May, posted on, included in the Wildwood Literary Review, and announced in the Parent’s Resource Guide. Email questions to

Please pass this information along to anyone who may be interested.

Speaker this week – Jan Westmore

February 13 — 6:30 PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room

Jan Westmore will join us for our Wednesday meeting to talk about researching, writing and publishing non-fiction. Her newest book, Images of America, Colfax was just published in January.  She will also share information about working with Arcadia Publishing, which is actively seeking new writers.
Author, scholar, and retired corporate executive Jan Westmore, a Sierra Nevada foothills resident and native Californian, is a contributing author to two books, plus a writer and photographer for numerous magazine articles. In Images of America: Colfax, her insightful commentary engages readers as they visually explore the historic images offered from private and public collections. Each photograph reveals an element of the colorful past that enriched this Colfax area.

Jan Westmore’s Newest Book:

Images of America, Colfax

Centered in Placer County, Colfax lies northeast of the state capital, Sacramento, in the California foothills. The Gold Rush of 1849 transformed these serene surroundings overnight into a flurry of human activity as men sought wealth. The town soon became the supply transport center for miners working their claims. When technology evolved to meet the needs of our expanding country, trains replaced pack trains and stagecoaches. Colfax grew to accommodate the thousands of workers toiling their way through the Sierra Nevadas to complete the western end of the transcontinental railroad. The town still serves as a junction point for the railroad and a destination stop for tourists to enjoy its unique history.
Author Website:

Sierra Writers September 2012 Meeting


WHO: Suzanne Roberts, author of Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail

WHAT: Sierra Writers  Memoir Writing Workshop

WHEN: Wednesday, September 12, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Madelyn Helling Library Community Room, Nevada City

COST: No charge, open to the public

Suzanne Roberts is the author of a memoir, Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), as well as four books of poems: Shameless (2007), Nothing to You (2008), Three Hours to Burn a Body: Poems on Travel (2011), and Plotting Temporality (2012). She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and the Environment from the University of Nevada-Reno, and she currently teaches English at Lake Tahoe Community College and for the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada College. For more information, please visit her website at

SW Newsletter Deadline – September 1

Thanks to all who attended our Sierra Writers Summer Picnic!  The food was fabulous, the readings interesting, and the venue nice and cool.  We look forward to welcoming more of you next year.

As a reminder, the Newsletter has moved to a quarterly format.  Our goal is to have a newsletter that can benefit the group with useful tips and ideas for the writing journey.  With that said, please consider contributing a short article on a topic that is related to writing; a 200-word brief article can be knocked out quickly and can be an inspiration on your fellow writers.  The deadline for submitting to our next quarterly newsletter is September 1.

Winners of the 2012 Young Writers’ Contest

We are pleased to announce the results of the 2012 Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Sierra Writers.

First Place – Andrew Leonard, “Victory or Death”
Second Place – Joslyn Fillman, “In this Place”
Third Place – Shelby Reed, “Untold Memories”

Three Honorable Mentions will also be awarded (in no particular order):

Taylor Dutrow“The Author”
Nicole Pastore“A Shattered Night”
Emily Anne Price“The Fall”

We invite you, your family, teachers, and friends to join Sierra Writers at the May meeting, Wednesday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m., where the winning entries will be read by the authors.  These entries will also be included in the Lake Wildwood Literary Review, published by Mike Lambert.  We are proud of all the students who trusted us with their words and stories.

Thanks to everyone who made our contest a success!

Sierra Writers Welcomes Local Poet Molly Fisk

Molly Fisk

Molly Fisk

Prize-winning poet Molly Fisk is a recognizable voice in our community with frequent public readings and radio essays.  She offers writing workshops and groups that use the creative writing process as a tool for healing. On Wednesday, January 11, 6:30 p.m., Molly will speak at the monthly Sierra Writers meeting held in the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room in Nevada City.  Her topic will be Writing To Heal. The evening is for anyone who would like to use the written word to find their own authentic voice.

With a background and education in business and banking, Fisk did not turn to writing until she was in her 30’s, developing a practice of daily writing that has resulted in an enormous body of work. With hundreds of published essays and poems published in five different collections, she refers to herself as a working poet.   Her works include The More Difficult Beauty, Listening To Winter, Salt Water Poems and a shared collection, Terrain.  Transcripts of her radio essays have also been published.

We hope you will join us for this free and special event.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012     6:30 – 8:00

Madelyn Helling Library

Click here to read the Winter 2012 Sierra Writers Newsletter

Sierra Writers December 2011 Newsletter

Sierra Writers had a successful year and we look forward to celebrating at our party for members and guests. Details were sent out to members, but in case you did not receive yours, contact Babette Donaldson (contact info in your member directory).

Here’s a copy of the Sierra Writers December 2011 Newsletter. Note that Molly Fisk will be our first speaker of 2012.

Sierra Writers Meetings

Sierra Writers Meetings

Dec 2011 Sierra Writers Annual Holiday Party

Sunday December 4 –  Members Only Event

January 2012 Sierra Writers Meeting

Molly Fisk – Writing to Heal

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Open to the public.

February 2012 Sierra Writers Meeting

Emma Santa – Speechcraft for Writers

Wednesday, February 8, 6:30PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Open to the public.

March 2012 Sierra Writers Meeting

Open Read

Wednesday, March 14, 6:30PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Open to the public.

April 2012 Sierra Writers Meeting

Celebrating National Poetry Month – Speaker TBA

Wednesday, April 11, 6:30PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Open to the public.

May 2012 Sierra Writers Meeting

Young Writers Contest Winners

Wednesday, May 9, 6:30PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Open to the public.

June 2012 Sierra Writers Meeting


Wednesday, June 13, 6:30PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Open to the public.

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